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Friday, March 14, 2008
OIC says Israelis should be tried for ‘war crimes’
The head of the world's biggest Muslim body, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), has called for Israelis to be tried by an international war crimes court for "heinous" attacks against Palestinians.
Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the Turkish secretary-general of the 57-nation body, late on Thursday told an OIC summit in Senegal that Israel was repeatedly seeking to undermine foreign-brokered peace plans. "The situation in Palestine remains deplorable due to the successive crises fabricated by Israel to stall the peace process and to thwart the many peace plans and initiatives proposed by the international community," he said.
“It has become indispensable that these aggressions and heinous crimes be officially documented and their perpetrators be brought before the international justice designed for these kinds of acts, such as the International Criminal Court,” he added.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the summit that Israel’s “disproportionate and excessive use of force” had killed and injured many civilians including children and called for the violence to stop. “I condemn these actions and call on Israel to cease such acts. Israel must fully comply with international humanitarian law and exercise utmost restraint,” Ban told the summit....
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had earlier accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” in Jerusalem by banning the building of Palestinian homes and cutting the city off from the rest of the occupied West Bank. “Our people in the city are facing an ethnic cleansing campaign through a set of Israeli decisions such as imposing heavy taxes, banning construction and closing Palestinian institutions in addition to separating the city from the West Bank by the racist separation wall,” Abbas told the OIC summit.
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Mark Regev, condemned Abbas’ “inflammatory” comments...
The Turkish capital has repeatedly criticized Israel’s acts against the Palestinian people, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying that the bloodshed and violence in the Gaza Strip led by Israel’s “merciless” attacks were not acceptable to anyone, including Israelis.
“It should not be forgotten that stalemates or unfair resolutions may harm all of us and hinder peace in the region and the world. All of these issues are also leading to the waste of natural, economic and humanitarian resources of Islam societies,” Gül told the summit.
“Producing regional or national resolutions for ending this deadlock is a common duty for all of us. The Alliance of Civilizations initiative launched by Turkey and Spain under the auspices of the UN secretary-general is an example for global efforts,” Gül added.
The spirit and understanding in these kinds of efforts should be turned into regional mechanisms which will bring permanent and just resolutions to disputes and problems in the Islamic geography; this will build confidence and will encourage cooperation and solidarity, he said.